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Nigeria Stocks Post Longest Winning Streak In Two-Years


Nigerian stocks extended gains for the 16th straight day on Thursday to post its longest winning streak in more than two-years due to improving sentiment following strong half-year earnings from several listed mid-sized companies, traders said.

The main share index pass 37,000 point psychological mark, to hit a 33-month high, a level last reached in October 2014.

Traders are betting the economy will soon emerge from a recession and a foreign-exchange shortage will end thanks to a new currency-trading window for investors.

Stocks rose across the board, with 37 companies advancing and 17 firms declining, lifted by the index of Nigeria’s top 10 consumer shares which climbed 3.84 percent.

Sub-Sahara Africa’s second-biggest index has risen 52 percent since March after the central bank partly liberalised access to foreign exchange for individuals with certain dollar expenses.

Equities, which lost 40 percent in dollar terms in 2016 due to a currency crisis in Nigeria, also received a boost when the monetary authorities in April lifted controls to allow foreign investors to trade the naira at market-determined rates.

Average daily volumes have also more than doubled, analysts say.

Mid-sized fuel retailer Conoil, which gained 10.2 percent, last month said first-quarter pretax profit to June rose to 255.1 million naira, from a loss of 860.6 million naira.

Other gainers include Champion Breweries, up 6.74 percent, and Nestle, up 5 percent, while Ecobank gained 4.95 percent.

Governor Godwin Emefiele, speaking after the central bank’s policy meeting on Tuesday, said Nigeria was likely to emerge from a recession this year but that it needed to put in place bold policy measure to quicken the recovery.

Emefiele added that he was committed to deepening liquidity on the currency market, a lack of which had spooked foreign investors who fled the West African country at the start of an oil price rout in 2014

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